365 days of gratitude

November 8, 2018

Pruning the Banksiae rose fell off my to-do list.

But my lack of action has been rewarded by a display of floral exuberance, made all the better by weather which is far from clement and for that I’m grateful.


Word of the day

November 8, 2018

Oca – a South American plant related to wood sorrel, long cultivated in Peru for its edible tubers; either of two South American wood sorrels (Oxalis crenata and O. tuberosa) cultivated for their edible tubers; the tuber of an oca.


Rural round-up

November 8, 2018

Peony growers flat out until Christmas – Ella Stokes:

As spring turns into summer,  the peony growing season is in full swing. Last week, reporter Ella Stokes went to catch up with Mosgiel grower Rodger Whitson, of Janefield Paeonies and Hydroponics, to see what it involves.

What started as a plan to diversify their property is now a full-time business for Rodger and Cindy Whitson, who have 10,000 peony plants on their 4ha block in Mosgiel.

In 2000, Mr Whitson, originally a meat worker, and Mrs Whitson, a dispensary technician, were looking into ways they could diversify their property.

After looking at a range of flowers to grow, they decided peonies were the best option. . . 

Mānuka honey: who really owns the name and the knowledge – Jessica C Lai:

Adulterated honey and fake mānuka honey have repeatedly made headlines in recent years.

The arguments around adulterated honey are relatively simple. These honeys are diluted with cheaper syrups and their lack of authenticity is unquestionable. The discourse around mānuka honey is different, as there are serious questions about what authentic mānuka honey actually means.

Two warring families

The term mānuka carries with it a premium. Mānuka honey is made from the nectar of the Leptospermum scoparium flower. This plant is native to New Zealand and south-east Australia. It is, thus, not surprising that much of the war around the term mānuka has played out between Australian and New Zealand producers.

There are many registered trademarks in Australia and New Zealand that include the word mānuka and relate to honey-based products. In July, the Australian Manuka Honey Association filed to protect its name. . . 

Research to help regions plan for tourism growth:

Lincoln University is making a major investment to support and grow our understanding of tourism.

A new Lincoln University Centre of Excellence, called ‘Sustainable Tourism for Regions, Communities and Landscapes’, has been created to tackle the dual challenge of growing the value of tourism and enriching the tourist experience in Aotearoa New Zealand, while restoring, protecting and enhancing the quality of regional destinations.

The multi-disciplinary centre is drawing on the expertise of researchers from across the university in such diverse areas as destination management, landscape design, policy and planning, marketing, rural regeneration, parks and protected areas, resource economics and community resilience. . . 

Limited progress on China dairy safeguards ups the ante for other negotiations:

News that the review of the China-New Zealand FTA is unlikely to result in improvement for dairy access is disappointing for the New Zealand dairy industry. The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) says this increases the importance of high quality and timely access improvements for dairy from the other trade negotiations currently underway.

“Despite the close relationship that New Zealand and China enjoy, New Zealand dairy exports to China continue to incur over a $100 million in tariffs each year, with the safeguards regularly triggered in early January” says DCANZ Chairman Malcolm Bailey. “Additionally New Zealand exporters of milk powder, cheese, and butter will be at a growing tariff disadvantage relative to Australian competitors until these safeguards end in 3-5 years”. . . 

Construction of purpose-built cannabis cultivation and medicine manufacturing facilities on the East Coast is now progressing with Hikurangi Cannabis Company announcing its first wholesale investment round is fully funded.

A small number of high net worth investors have contributed an initial $7 million to complete the next stage of development for the first New Zealand company to receive a cultivation license. Another investment offer is likely to be pursued in the new year as milestones are achieved to further accelerate research and development activities. . .

Joint agreement to protect onion industry:

Biosecurity New Zealand and Onions New Zealand Inc have reached an agreement on funding to prepare for future biosecurity responses.

Both parties signed a Sector Readiness Operational Agreement today (7 November).

“The agreement demonstrates commitment to working in a strong partnership to strengthen readiness for incursions of specific pests and diseases,” says Andrew Spelman, Biosecurity NZ’s Acting Director, Biosecurity Readiness. . . 

Pioneering cattle grazing block up for sale set to become avocado or kiwifruit orchard:

A portion of a pioneering cattle grazing and fattening farm that has been owned by members of the same family for 178 years has been placed on the market for sale.

The 23-hectare property at Maungatapere some 11 kilometres west of Whangarei was formerly a much bigger dairy farm known as Crystal Springs which was the first pedigree Jersey stud in Northland, with a gene-poll of breeding cattle brought out from the United Kingdom. . . 


KiwiCon lottery gets better for lucky few

November 8, 2018

KiwiBuild – or as it should be KiwiCon –  isn’t popular in Wanaka:

The South Island’s much-heralded first foray into KiwiBuild home ownership has been a bit of a fizzer — at least so far.

So few prospective homebuyers have entered the ballot for 10 KiwiBuild house and land packages in the Northlake suburb of Wanaka that the developer has asked to extend the ballot period by 10 days.

The ballot was due to close on Thursday.

KiwiBuild senior media adviser Mark Hanson said yesterday 20 ballot entries had been received.

‘‘Some houses have received no entries and the developer has asked us to extend the ballot to Sunday, November 18, to allow for people who they are working with more time to work through their pre-qualification process.’’ . . 

And Housing Minister Phil Twyford has backed down on penalties for those who flip KiwiBuild properties early:

Documents obtained by Newshub show owners will no longer have to give up all capital gain they make on the house if they sell it within three years. . . 

When Labour announced the policy in 2016, its plan to stop buyers reaping windfall gains was they must not on-sell their home for five years – or else they had to hand all the money they made to the Government.

That’s now changed to if buyers sell within three years, they must give up 30 percent of their profit. . .

There is big money to be made. Based on the last three years, the average price of a home in Papakura has risen from $569,000 to nearly $700,000, meaning house owners could have made $130,000 in the last three years.

That means even after the 30 percent penalty applied by the Government, they’d still pocket more than $90,000.

A $90,000 profit for selling up after three years – that’s very easy money.

But you don’t have to wait three years – you will get to keep 70% of the profit it you sell the very next day.

This is not the first KiwiBuild backdown we’ve seen. Since being in government, Mr Twyford has changed the price caps, the eligibility criteria and now this – a change which has the potential to leave KiwiBuild open for abuse.

With each announcement the KiwiBuild lottery gets better for the lucky few who win.

The government keeps saying KiwiBuild houses aren’t subsidised but if the government isn’t putting money in why would the owners have to hand over any profit if they sell?

At the very least there’s an opportunity cost with money spent on this policy not available for spending on the many areas of much greater need – and that’s people on well below the income level for those who qualify for the KiwiBuild lottery.

You can follow progress on the scheme here – so far only four houses have been sold.

 

 


Quote of the day

November 8, 2018

People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do. – Dorothy Day who was born on this day in 1897.


November 8 in history

November 8, 2018

519 – Hernán Cortés entered Tenochtitlán and Aztec rulerMoctezumawelcomed him with a great celebration

1520 – Stockholm Bloodbath began A successful invasion of Sweden by Danish forces resulted in the execution of around 100 peopl

1576 – Eighty Years’ War: Pacification of Ghent – The States-General of the Netherlands met and united to oppose Spanish occupation

1602 The Bodleian Library at Oxford University opened to the public.

1620 The Battle of White Mountain ended in a decisive Catholic victory in only two hours.

1656 Edmond Halley, British astronomer and mathematician, was born (d. 1742).

1745 Charles Edward Stuart invaded England with an army of ~5000.

1793 – The French Revolutionary government opened the Louvre to the public as a museum.

1836 Milton Bradley, American game manufacturer, was born  (d. 1911).

1837 Mary Lyon founded Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which later became Mount Holyoke College.

1847 – Jean Casimir-Perier, French politician, 6th President of France, was born (d. 1907).

1847 Bram Stoker, Irish novelist, was born  (d. 1912).

1861 – American Civil War: The “Trent Affair” – The USS San Jacinto stopped the United Kingdom mail ship Trent and arrested two Confederate envoys, sparking a diplomatic crisis between the UK and US.

1892 The New Orleans general strike began, uniting black and white trade unionists in a successful four-day general strike action for the first time.

1895 – While experimenting with electricity, Wilhelm Röntgen discovered the X-ray.

1897 – Dorothy Day, American journalist and activist, was born (d. 1980).

1900 Margaret Mitchell, American author, was born  (d. 1949).

1901 Bloody clashes in Athens following the translation of the Gospels into demotic Greek.

1917 The People’s Commissars gave authority to Vladimir LeninLeon Trotsky, and Joseph Stalin.

1923 Beer Hall PutschAdolf Hitler led the Nazis in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the German government.

1927 – Patti Page, American singer and actress, was born (d. 2013).

1932 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected the 32d President of the United States defeating Herbert Hoover.

1933 – Great Depression: New Deal – US President Franklin D. Roosevelt unveiled the Civil Works Administration, an organisation designed to create jobs for more than 4 million of the unemployed.

1935 – A dozen labour leaders came together to announce the creation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO).

1936 – New Zealanders Griff Maclaurin and Steve Yates were part of the International Column of anti-fascist volunteers who marched into Madrid, bolstering the city’s defences against the assault of General Franco’s rebel armies.

New Zealanders march into besieged Madrid

1937 – The Nazi exhibition Der ewige Jude (“The Eternal Jew”) opened in Munich.

1939 The Centennial exhibition opened in Wellington.

 NZ Centennial Exhibition opens

1939 – Venlo Incident: Two British SIS agents were captured by the Germans.

1939 – Adolf Hitler narrowly escaped the assassination attempt of Georg Elser while celebrating the 16th anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch.

1941 – The Albanian Communist Party was founded.

1942 – Operation Torch – United States and United Kingdom forces landed in French North Africa. French resistance coup in Algiers, in which 400 civilian French patriots neutralised Vichyist XIXth Army Corps after 15 hours of fighting, and arrested several Vichys generals.

1947  – Margaret Rhea Seddon, American physician and astronaut, was born.

1950 Korean War: United States Air Force Lt. Russell J. Brown shot down two North Korean MiG-15s in the first jet aircraft-to-jet aircraft dogfightin history.

1957 – Operation Grapple X, Round C1: Britain conducted its first successful hydrogen bomb test over Kiritimati in the Pacific.

1965 – The British Indian Ocean Territory was created, consisting of Chagos Archipelago, Aldabra, Farquhar and Des Roches islands.

1965 – The Murder (Abolition of the Death Penalty) Act 1965 was given Royal Assent, formally abolishing the death penalty in the United Kingdom.

1965 – The 173rd Airborne was ambushed by over 1,200 Viet Cong inOperation Hump while the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment fought one of the first set-piece engagements of the war between Australian forces and the Vietcong at the Battle of Gang Toi.

1966 Former Massachusetts Attorney General Edward Brooke became the first African American elected to the United States Senate.

1973 The right ear of John Paul Getty III was delivered to a newspaper with a ransom note, convincing his father to pay $US 2.9 million.

1977 Manolis Andronikos, discovered the tomb of Philip II of Macedon at Vergina

1978 A 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Thessaloniki killed 40 people.

1983  – Nikola Rachelle, English-New Zealand singer-songwriter and producer, was born.

1987 Remembrance Day Bombing: A Provisional IRA bomb explode in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland during a Remembrance Day – killing 12 and wounding 63.

2002 Iraq disarmament crisis: UN Security Council Resolution 1441 – The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a resolution on Iraq, forcing Saddam Hussein to disarm or face “serious consequences”.

2003 The Harris Theatere opened commencing a renaissance in the Chicago performing arts community.

2011 – The potentially hazardous asteroid 2005 YU55 passed 0.85 lunar distances from Earth (about 324,600 kilometres or 201,700 miles), the closest known approach by an asteroid of its brightness since 2010 XC15in 1976.

2013 – Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms in history hit the Visayas region in the Philippines. The typhoon killed 6,201 people as of 29 January 2014 and was considered the deadliest typhoon to hit the country. It caused around $1 billion in damages unofficially.

2016 –Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the BJ party led NDA government, publicly announced the  withdrawal of ₹500 and ₹1000 denomination banknotes only a few hours before implementation/imposition [diktat], i.e. from midnight, starting of November 9  from the Indian economy, without popular consent, making 86% of the currency in circulation invalid.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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